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Rensselaer's Communities

We will... create a world-class university by attracting and retaining world-class people, commit to bringing diversity to science and technology, forge lifelong partnerships between the Institute and its alumni, contribute to the vitality of the region, and practice good global citizenship.


New Vocabulary: Communiversity
“Communiversity,” a word introduced to Rensselaer’s vocabulary by President Jackson, is a vision of the way institutions of higher learning and the cities, towns, and counties that serve as their homes can and should work together to ensure the viability and vibrancy of their shared communities.

Rensselaer’s participation as a citizen of Troy, the greater Capital Region, and the Hartford metropolitan area takes many forms.

Rensselaer at Hartford is dedicated to community service and assisting in the revitalization of its neighborhood. For example, for more than 20 years, the university has sponsored Summer Computer Camp for more than 1,000 Hartford children.

Within the community surrounding the Troy campus, Rensselaer is engaged in neighborhood renewal initiatives that include the renovation of vacant and deteriorating properties. Students, faculty, and staff participate in a wide range of community outreach efforts, sharing their expertise and enthusiasm in urban planning workshops, volunteer tutoring programs, public service internships, and more.

The Office of Government and Community Relations plays an important role in generating government funds for major research, infrastructure, and economic development initiatives, which include such highly successful ventures as the Rensselaer Technology Park and the Incubator. Rensselaer is also committed to the Troy Redevelopment Foundation, a group of the city’s largest nonprofit entities that makes an annual voluntary gift to the city to promote economic development and contribute to Troy’s bottom line.

Especially meaningful are collaborations with area schools. Programs such as Saturday Scholars and the Rensselaer Summer Science Enrichment Program bring bright young students to campus to experience science, math, and technology in ways that excite their aspirations for college study. And Tutor-Time Tutors, begun by Rensselaer students in the fall of 2001, helps local K-9 students with their reading and math skills.
A strong sense of Rensselaer as a community itself and as a participant in the life of the region and world is underscored by commitments in The Rensselaer Plan. These commitments are resulting in programs that will have lasting impact on the Institute and the many communities of which it is part.

The Campus Community
World-class people create world-class universities. The Rensselaer Plan makes it clear that appropriate programs and procedures must be implemented to ensure that the best students, faculty, and staff are recruited, and, once they are here, that they are empowered to succeed.

One of the most telling changes was the elevation of the human resources function to division level with its own vice president. Curtis Powell, formerly corporate director for human resources at Suburban Hospital Healthcare System in Bethesda, Md., assumed the position of vice president on July 1, 2000. Since then, several initiatives have been undertaken to make Rensselaer the “employer of choice” among faculty and staff by developing uniform policies and approaches to critical human resource activities. The division initiated development of Performance Management Tools, redefinition of positions and rebaselining of salaries has begun, and development of career ladders for staff has been initiated. Salary adjustments for environmental specialists and administrative and clerical staff have been made and a new hiring protocol for faculty and staff implemented.

Likewise, responsibility for student recruitment was redefined and realigned. Teresa Duffy, formerly dean of undergraduate admissions, is now dean of enrollment management — with responsibility for undergraduate, graduate, and distance admissions — reporting to the provost.

Efforts to increase intellectual, geographic, ethnic, and gender diversity are being pursued in every office and department of the university, with particular effort being directed at establishing alliances with historically minority institutions and expanding pipeline programs that provide access for women and underrepresented minority students.

People, Programs, Platforms

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Rensselaer Magazine: December 2002
President's View Your Mail From the Archives Hawk Talk Class Notes Features
Front Page At Rensselaer Milestones
In Memoriam Making a Difference Staying Connected
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Rensselaer (ISSN 0898-1442) is published in March, June, September, and December by the Office of Marketing and Media Relations.

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